Epok Epok Nyé: XL epok-epok with black pepper & rendang fillings at Arab Street

Call me old-fashioned, but I have an aversion to ‘gimmicky’ dishes. You can cook them in an unconventional way, serve them with some spectacle à la Salt Bae or make them extra large and, for me, the selling factor should still be the taste of the dish. When I heard that Epok Epok Nyé, located at 120 Arab Street, is selling XL curry puffs, I just had to try them.

Epok Epok Nyé - Exterior Shot
Epok Epok Nyé - Exterior Shot

Opened 3 months ago on 23 Oct 2022, Epok Epok Nyé is owned by Radin Amir who is unsurprisingly also in the dough-making business. This isn’t Radin’s first foray into selling the ever-popular curry puffs, as also he ran Khalsom Street Food at Sembawang nearly a decade ago, where it became popular for their huge epok epok.

Epok Epok Nyé - Exterior Shot
Epok Epok Nyé - Exterior Shot

Radin’s thought process of selling huge curry puffs stemmed from him viewing them more as a staple food than as snacks. To better fill customers’ stomachs, he made them bigger as if they’re pocket meals.

What I tried at Epok Epok Nyé

Epok Epok Nyé - Potato, Rendang and Black Pepper
Epok Epok Nyé - Potato, Rendang and Black Pepper

It was right at the peak of lunchtime when I arrived at Epok Epok Nyé and because of that, some of the items such as the Potato (S$2) and Rendang (S$3.50) were still being prepared. Apart from that, you can choose from a couple of other epok epok flavours such as Sardine (S$2), Black Pepper (S$3.50) and Carbonara (S$4). There was also a Salted Egg (S$3.50) flavoured one but it wasn’t available.

My choices were Black Pepper, Potato and Rendang. The latter two options required a 15 min prep time. Credit where credit’s due, the curry puffs were actually prepared on the spot which includes stuffing them with fillings and moulding the dough into the iconic Asian calzone.

Epok Epok Nyé - Potato
Epok Epok Nyé - Potato

First down the hatch was the OG Potato-flavoured curry puffs. As promised, it was as big, if not slightly bigger than my palm. In fact, I needed all of my fingers for support when holding it from the tip. 

Epok Epok Nyé - Potato
Epok Epok Nyé - Potato

My first bite lulled me into a buttery and crispy melody of both flour and butter. My favourite part of an epok epok, the top bit that looked like knots, was a crumbly delight, just how I like them.

I couldn’t care less if all I got out of the initial bite was just pastry or how pieces of flaky skin decorated my moustache— it was that good. Before I knew it, I was onto my second bite, this time making sure I got a good portion of the potatoes and egg. 

Then, reality struck. There was something off with the filling as it had an unpleasant sourness to it. Whatever curry flavour it had couldn’t beat the overpowering pungent taste. I took another bite and it only confirmed my horror. Based on reviews online, I’m certain I was just the unfortunate one to get a bad batch.

Epok Epok Nyé - Rendang
Epok Epok Nyé - Rendang

Unfortunately, the Beef Rendang puff didn’t do too well either. There was nothing off about it, but not much right either. The rendang flavours tasted really flat, which was baffling as I thought it’d be as simple as stuffing actual rendang in pastry. 

It was weirdly watery and tasted more like coconut milk with a hint of rendang spices. The potatoes were at least cooked into a nice soft mush to the bite. The little beef pieces however were overly chewy. It wasn’t seasoned but took up the meagre flavours of the rendang. It really felt like chewing gum.

Epok Epok Nyé - Black Pepper
Epok Epok Nyé - Black Pepper

Lastly and thankfully, the best out of the lot was the Black Pepper puffs. The black pepper sauce came out roaring with a decent amount of heat and just a touch of sweetness whilst maintaining a clear black pepper taste. That, coupled with the perfect pastry, made for a really satisfying bite.

My only gripe with it was that the potatoes were still crunchy and undercooked. 

Final thoughts 

Epok Epok Nyé - Interior Shot
Epok Epok Nyé - Interior Shot

This wasn’t the definitive epok epok experience that I had expected, especially with those prices. Whilst not quite hitting the mark, it’s still considerably early days for Epok Epok Nyé, with plenty of chances to experiment with even more unique flavours as well as rectify current ones. Though if you’re around Arab Street and are looking for a quick snack, I’d recommend the Black Pepper puff.

Rarely does this statement hold much truth but this time, size isn’t everything. 

Expected damage: S$2 – S$9 per pax

Other articles you might like:

10 best curry puffs in Singapore for less than $2

Epok Epok Central: Nasi lemak & home-made curry puffs from S$0.50 at Eunos

 

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